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Discussion on: Don't be Afraid to Admit Your Weaknesses

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ashleemboyer profile image
Ashlee (she/her) Author

Out of curiosity, why is that?

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wk4 profile image
Walter Kennedy IV

It's sort of intellectually dishonest - people say it when they want to admit "a flaw" but still say that they're awesome. It's like interviewing for a job as a personal trainer and saying that your flaw is that you're too athletic and people won't be able to keep up.

I think it's effectively a cop out, and something that people specifically say when they want to avoid saying they actually have a weakness. If I'm interviewing someone, I'm looking to see primarily if I can trust them and if they have the capacity and desire to learn. I think saying one's weakness is being too much a perfectionist violates that first part.

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ashleemboyer profile image
Ashlee (she/her) Author

Thank you for explaining your take! I think it can be a cop-out, but not everyone uses it that way. Some people, like myself, genuinely want to express the fact that sometimes we get caught up on smaller, unimportant details. Have any thoughts on better ways to get that across? Nothing comes to mind for me right this second.

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wk4 profile image
Walter Kennedy IV

Absolutely! I think a better way of saying it is that you have a tendency to focus on minutia, or have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees, or something to that effect. I've had to explain that a few times, and I think it's typically more acceptable to say something that isn't as broad a stroke as "being a perfectionist." True as it may be, after you've interviewed enough people, you get to a point where you've heard that specific phrase a lot. It typically comes from people who are earlier in their careers, and who are more concerned that admitting a weakness will cost them the job. It almost always doesn't.

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ashleemboyer profile image
Ashlee (she/her) Author

Really! Any weaknesses you've heard that absolutely turn you off to the candidate?

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wk4 profile image
Walter Kennedy IV

Typically, if someone says they have a hard time grasping new technologies or something, that's tough to work around. Our world changes rapidly, and not having that capacity really hurts.